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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Outsourcing Horror Story - Pitfalls to Avoid - Question

    Over the past few months I've used several Filipinos to help me with SEO tasks and might I add it was a real nightmare. When these outsourcers list their "skills" on places such as bestjobs they tend to overestimate their capabilities.

    As you all know, with most SEO tasks it's important that an outsourcer have an acceptable command of English. Unfortunately most of them lie about how good their English is. I usually ask them to send me samples of their work before we employ them and in most cases the sample work is very good.

    However, when they start working for you the content they produce does not match the quality of the samples they sent you. To summarize here are some of the problems I have experienced with outsourcers:

    - they work for more than 1 employer full time...in other words you pay for 8 hours and they only work 4 hours
    - some even only work 1-2 hrs/day and always have excuses about power outages/computer problems/family members are sick etc...
    - if they write their own articles it does not make sense and it is full of grammar and spelling mistakes...i have a feeling they use
    Google translate
    - they use plagiarized material (copyscape usually confirms this)
    - if you ask them to manually spin articles, they auto spun the stuff and try to get away with it
    - you have to give them a lot of training
    - if you tell them to up their performance they just disappear
    - some want to borrow money etc..
    - and the list goes on an on

    Over the past few months I personally hired and fired 9 outsourcers. Just imagine all the time that you waste because every time you must interview and train employees and get rid of them if performance is poor... then and start all over again.

    Just to be fair I did find one guy that is really doing a good job for us, but it is very difficult to find people that you can rely on. So, maybe I'm not the only one that was struggling with this...perhaps there are others too?

    I actually found a solution to this problem that was right under my nose. That made me think that perhaps I can help others overcome similar problems.

    Please note that my objective is not to sell anything (because there is nothing to buy)...but to gauge interest in a possible solution to outsourcing some of your SEO stuff.

    Would you guys be interested in a service where you can employ full-time employees to work for you...and best of all they speak/write perfect English? You can use them as personal assistants or let them do all the SEO grunt work for you? Would you be interested if you can find this type of employee for between $300 - $600 per month?

    I would love to get your feedback on this...


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi Angela,

    I feel your pain as i have encountered every problem you have mentioned. Especially the sick relatives, power outages and wanting to borrow money. But in saying all that i have 3 Filipinos working for me fulltime and one Pakistan gentleman. One of them still occasionally does some of things but he also fantastic work and always does his jobs when i want them done. The rest of them always prwarn me about power outages with links etc to the local power company websites that have the scheduled maintenance etc. It easy to think they are lying but most of the time they are actually telling the truth with the power outages and possibly sick relatives as it is a third world country with crappy medical. I have had 2 of my guys for almost 3 years now and couldn't be happier.

    Its even got to a point now i have one of them on a profit share with certain sales through the websites.

    I would also be interested to hear what you have in mind also.

    cheers Toby

  3. #3

    I am not at the point right now but Steve and I talked about doing something like this when I get
    ready, if they stay on course that should be relatively soon.

    I too would be interested in what you have in mind.

    "Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right"

  4. #4
    I've been through the outsourcing nightmare and gave up at the time. I even went after the more expensive resumes I found at onlinejobs.ph and was still sorely disappointed.

    I decided to just pay more for the services I was needing and let the middle-man company deal with the outsourcer issue.

    But yes, since I'm starting my SEM company back up I think I will definitely need a full-time employee or two in the near future.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    We're just starting up with offline marketing and are planning on outsourcing as much as possible. It's a little disheartening reading this thread...
    Right now we are going to be using Kevin Lam's white label outsourcing membership. However, it's $497 every month just to be in the premium level membership and that only lets you buy their other services for a little less than the other two membership levels, which I think prices are too high, but we need something right now.

    I would be very interested in a service where I pay so much per month (like $497 or less) and I then get so many hours a week of work, like somewhere between 30-40 hours. I would rather have groups of people doing different aspects of the work that is needed. In other words, one person to write content, one person to do Google Places, one person to make videos, you get the picture. This way you are not relying on one person to do everything, which wouldn't work very well.

    I do know of a company that does this, but my ex-partner is using them, so I won't use them now.

    This is actually a great way to make money, be the middle man and manage all the workers and then sell the services.

    lol I wish Steve and Tim would offer something like this. That would rock!

    Please let me know if you come up with anything!


    P.S. I also bought Kevin Lam's SplashAll, it looks like it's going to be great for when I do have my own outsourcing team, you can pretty much run your whole business through the interface, including Sales Reps (we will be having sales reps in the future), training videos, billing, outsourcers etc.

    P.P.S. Now that I think about it, Splashall would be a great way to set up an outsourcing company and run it all through there, I believe that's what Kevin is using for his outsourcers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Newcastle, UK
    I have just this week had my new outsourcer go off with measles after only 4 days of work. It is pretty frustrating after spending time explaining everything. Hopefully she will be back soon and it will be ok.

    My last outsourcer disappeared to look after her kids without warning and I decided to call it a day with her as she was costing more than she was producing.

    I think one of the frustrations with outsourcers is that you can't see what they are doing and because you don't know what is happening it is tempting to think the worst.

    Not sure I would want all the work split up - with more links in the chain their is just a greater chance one of them will break. This would only work if the "links" were interchangable because the outsourcers were applying a specific pre-designed system - not something bespoke to you.

    As much as their are difficulties with having outsourcers once you get it working it is totally worth it. There is no way you could produce half the volume of the work for the same price with out using outsourcers. In fact when you take into account tax, office hire, insurance, internet/computer costs, higher uk wages etc - I recon my outsourced workers are about 10 -15 times cheaper than UK staff.

  7. #7
    I would be VERY interested in anything to do with outsourcing... I have an affiliate business that is able to be outsourced, but each time I've failed. I've tried several Filipinos, and also a "team" style India company which didn't work out well either. They were good, but I think the time management was poor and I would prefer to have a dedicated employee working on specific tasks.
    SEO is life

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Sydney Australia
    Hi Susan,

    I would have a look at odesk.com.

    I do have one guy in the Philipines who has been with us for over a year and is pretty good.

    Failed miserably to find a writer in the same way.

    However, a couple of months ago decided to try odesk and have found a very good one part-time, which suits my needs perfectly.

    Benefit of odesk I found is easy to advertise and check out people and you are not committing to them if they dont work out.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Hi Angela,

    Recently I found a company in New Zealand through elance and I worked with them successfully. The company was set up by an Indian Kiwi and he worked with 15 people in India and 5 in New Zealand. I guess because he was Indian and New Zealander, he "spoke" both "languages". By him having set up his company this way, he was able to deliver quality for Indian prices. He took on the role of managing the workers and securing the quality and they did a good job for me. I guess this type of company is the way to do it and this is what you are referring to.

    I am definitely interested in your idea because the more options in outsourcing, the better it is. Good people are definitely scarce and all tips in doing this right are welcome. Good initiative, this thread!


  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Newcastle, UK
    I think if you are going to offer an outsource system then a good way to do it would have pre-designed templates of work for them to do.

    Sometimes a lot of the problems stem from the fact that they don't understand what you want or you expect a level of inititative/understanding that you don't just get.

    Having efficent systems you can hand over helps a lot - it makes people effective faster and removes the need for them to be skilled.

    If the outsoured option provided videos that you could pass on to them (eg here is how to use SEO Nuke efficently) that would be good.

    Also some companies have access to the software you might want for free or nominal cost. This is a big bonus being able to use something like unique article wizard or SEO Nuke for free (in with cost). This really helps to get the costs down and I guess at their end they just buy one license between a whole lot of staff. So if you were setting something up this would be good.


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